This is the first week of the Kindness Challenge put on by Niki at “The Richness of a Simple Life”. For this first week, Niki encouraged all challengers to explore the topic of self-love.
This is a wonderful topic for me at this time of my life, when I am working consciously on cultivating self-love every single day. Although love and belonging is something that we should not have to work for and that should be an inherit birthright to us all, we all experience moments in our lives, when this seems very farfetched in our minds.
After my recent divorce, I was thrown into all kind of turbulent thoughts and emotions. Having something that I had worked on so hard for over 15 years not work out and having someone I ones confessed my love to, suddenly resent everything I do, really left me questioning myself. I had always felt a sense of guilt about who I was and that I wasn’t able to be the person that my ex-partner wanted and needed me to be.
Only recently, when I started to allow myself to strip away the layers of expectations that had been painted on me to make me look acceptable in the eyes of others, have I begun to realize that there was a natural beauty hidden under all those coats of paint all along.
About a month ago, when trying to make my young daughter feel better about herself due to a school incident, I had an inkling to have her replace her negative self-talk by creating a routine of having her look into the mirror every day and say to herself: “I am beautiful, I am smart, I am lovable, I am enough”. In order to make it a habit, we started saying it together. As I was holding her in my arms looking into the mirror, I realized pretty quickly that these statements hadn’t just come out of my mouth for her, but that I needed to hear them myself. The next day, I found myself repeating them over and over again, when a negative thought about myself or a about a situation started to creep into my head.
At first, they seemed like empty words, but I just made it a habit to look at myself and say them, whenever I was washing my hands or brushing my teeth. I was almost amused by the fact that it would seem like I am saying them to proof my point. I could hear the words being said to the woman in the mirror only to be ended with a look or an attitude that seemed to say: “So there. Take that, you!”
And then in the last week, I suddenly caught myself turning back around to the mirror after I was done and, with a smirk in my face, winking at myself. I think I am starting to like this defiant woman staring back at me. I think we have moved from resistance to connecting with each other to a little bit of flirting. I take that as a good sign that we are making some headway.
This week, we also added dancing to our time together. I get to pick a song that randomly pops into my head and for one song a day, I allow myself to throw all those thoughts that tell me to have everything under control at all times into the wind, and let this body be moved by the music.
Our randomly chosen song for today was “I believe I can fly” by R. Kelly. I haven’t heard this song in ages, but it just appeared as the one I needed to hear today. And I believe in my intuition to always know what is best.
I think this love thing might actually work out between me and myself!